23 Poachers arrested in 3 weeks in the Kruger National Park, a total of 156 cases reported.
SAN Parks staff and partners made great progress this week in the recent rise in poaching at Kruger National Park. This has resulted in 23 arrests resulting from 156 reported cases.
Sadly, it came at a cost, in the death of Ranger Respect Mathebula. Prayer & condolences to his family and colleagues.
Amazing work by all involved
More on this story at ewn.co.za
Next week is World Ranger Day! Please help honour these unsung heroes fighting to protect our wildlife on a daily basis
Save the date. Get involved. Share it far and wide. For us, this is the most important day of the year. Recognise fallen Rangers. Celebrate those who still stand bravely on the frontline. #WorldRangerDay#WRD2018
A White (Square-lipped) Rhino calf takes a quick nap while it's mother feeds close by.
This little guys looks so content as he sleeps without a worry in the world. But with the constant danger from poaching, how long can these peaceful moments last? I pray for the day that these magnificent creatures, and other species that are being poached to extinction, can truly be at peace. Hopefully these prehistoric looking animals survive so that generations to come can also enjoy sightings of them when visiting Africa!
Suspected rhino poacher apparently killed by lions 🦁
July 4th 2018
Lions on the Sibuya Game Reserve outside Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape are believed to have killed a suspected rhino poacher who was attempting to stalk the animals.
News of the death of a poacher emerged on Wednesday after reserve rangers found human remains in the lion enclosure.
According to officials‚ the discovery was made at 7pm on Tuesday night but‚ due to bad lighting and it not being safe to enter the lion enclosure‚ police returned on Wednesday morning.
By afternoon‚ the police airwing helicopter had flown over the reserve to assess if there were more poachers in the area.
The find led to the vet tranquilising all six lions in the camp at 8am on Wednesday.
Forensic experts and detectives on the scene found a hunting rifle‚ with a silencer attached‚ as well as a long axe and wire cutters.
The human remains were found scattered in various parts of the bush.
Police spokeswoman Captain Mali Govender confirmed that the remains had been found in the lion camp and that detectives were on the scene. “Due to poor light (Tuesday night) the scene could not be processed. On Wednesday morning‚ investigators and specialists combed the scene and managed to retrieve remains which were taken by the department of health to conduct forensic testing. A rifle and an axe were found at the scene‚” she said.
Story from: timeslive.co.za
Three nights in a row with poacher incursions. Each time evading our RPU. Frustration beyond belief not to be able to catch these murderers. It looks so easy....surely it cannot be so challenging?
But it is. They move like ghosts in the darkness. Waiting with patience for the moment when they will strike....
Then finally this past Monday in the very early hours the RPU teams patience pays off. Seeing suspects leaving the park the RPU team gave pursuit. Many kms later, and a long distance from Pilanesberg, one suspect is caught while 2 get away. In the vehicle is a rifle, axe and heartbreakingly 3 sets of Rhino horns. 💔💔💔 This can only mean these suspects have possibly murdered 3 Rhino.
Sadly, after a chopper search with Nico, 3 carcasses are found in Pilanesberg. Initially we thought they were a bull, cow and calf that were poached, but we have now determined they were 2 cows and one calf. Our search continues...” It is heartbreaking to fail these beautiful animals though we are doing all we can to protect them. So much more needs to be done. Not just by RPU teams, but also by government to acknowledge that we have a crisis in our hands. We need a strong legal team to take fight for our Rhinos beyond their deaths.
Awareness is key to gain support. Support is needed to assist the teams on the ground. Financial, or in terms of necessary equipment. Its an endless battle, and we ask that you please not turn your back on these innocent animals. RIP. Sorry that we have failed you. 💔🦏💔🦏💔🦏 from our friends @pilanesberg.wildlife.trust
The truth behind poaching syndicates
Col Johan Jooste explained in his testimony that rhino poaching works in five levels and that Petrus “Mr Big” Sydney Mabuza is a level three role-player.
Col Johan Jooste, national commander of the Hawks’ Endangered Species Section, gave a thorough account of the nature and functioning of poaching syndicates and explained what Mabuza’s role is believed to be. According to Jooste’s testimony during Mabuza’s bail application, poaching and the trafficking of rhino horn operate on five levels.
Level one is where the action takes place. It involves killing the rhino, reaping its horn and handing it over to a level-two receiver,” he testified.
A level-two operator, he explained, is someone who has the logistic ability to receive and fast-track the horn without being detected. This person is responsible for getting it to the level-three buyer.
A level-three role player “is in control of the supply chain from the moment the animal is poached until they receive the rhino horn. This is done in an organised way,” Jooste said. “Level four funds the lower levels,” stated Jooste. These role players conceal rhino horns in different ways to avoid detection at, for example, the OR Tambo International Airport. “Level five is the final level and refers to those who receive and pay for the rhino horns in South-East Asian countries,” he concluded.
More on this story at lowvelder.co.za
SKUKUZA – Two field rangers suspected of rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park (KNP) were arrested on Monday.
South African National Parks (SANParks) said in a statement the two suspects were based at the Houtboschrand section and are alleged to have shot and dehorned a white rhino in May.
They were apprehende as a result of an intensive joint investigation carried out by the SANParks Environmental Crime Investigative Unit and the SAPS. Their arrest follows a report in May in which shots were reported by tourists and a poached rhino carcass was then found with its horns missing. The two suspects had been deployed in the area at the time of the reports.
Report from the lowvelder.co.za
Suspects caught with R1 mil worth of rhino horns...
Two suspects were hunted down for being in possession of two rhino horns on the N4 Highway.
Information was given to the police on Tuesday, June 12 to be on the lookout for a white BMW with the registration plates, HB 28 LB GP and two suspects in the vehicle. The chase started from Nelspruit as it was alleged that the vehicle was transporting rhino horns.
The scene on the N4 Highway just outside eMalahleni where two suspects were arrested for the possession of rhino horns on June 13.
This information was then passed onto members of the Highway Patrol, not long after receiving the information the vehicle was spotted, travelling on the N4 highway from Middelburg to eMalahleni.
Highway Patrol tried to stop the vehicle without any success. The chase then continued and they managed to stop it just before the eMalahleni off-ramp from the toll gate.
The members searched the BMW and found two rhino horns in a white container wrapped in foil in the boot of the vehicle. It’s alleged that the vehicle used was rented and that the suspects were on their way to Johannesburg to make the drop off.
Members from the South African National Parks ( #SANParks) were notified about the arrest and the two horns that were discovered in the boot of the vehicle. They then flew in with a helicopter to come and identify the horns.
Dr Nolan Landman from Witbank Veterinary Hospital and Melissa Kemp from Mpumalanga Parks Board were contacted to do the #DNA testing.
According to previous arrests made in South Africa in regards with rhino horn poaching, it is estimated that people pay up to R85 000 per kilogram of horn. It’s estimated that the total market value of the horns that were seized are in the region of R1 000 000.
The suspects appeared today in Witbank Magistrate Court today, 14 June facing a charge of unlawful possession and trading of rhino horns.
Rangers shoot three poachers dead, foil attempt to poach elephants 🐘
Three poachers were on Thursday gunned down at the Mt Elgon National Park after a shootout between them and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) wardens on patrol.
County Commander Samson ole Kine told The Standard the poachers, believed to be from Uganda, had sneaked into the park and intended to kill elephants and remove their tusks. “KWS officers were on patrol inside the park when they spotted the poachers. A fierce shoot-out ensued and three of the poachers were gunned down while two others escaped. AK-47 rifles were recovered,” said Mr Kine.
Kine said no wardens were injured in the incident that lasted more than 30 minutes.
County Commissioner Erastus Mbui said security surveillance had been intensified along the Kenya-Uganda border to deter poaching activities. “More officers have been deployed to conduct regular security patrols at the park and ensure wildlife is protected from the poachers. We urge communities around the park to report people they suspect to be on a poaching mission," said Mr Mbui.
Great news! Population of the highly endangered mountain gorilla rises above 1,000, representing a 25% increase in its central African heartland since 2010
#MountainGorilla is a CITES Appendix I species since 1975 & international trade is prohibited